Meals-on-wheels service to be extended

Dave Laithwaite, of Lancashire Fayre, and Coun Peter Wilson try some of the dishes on offer
Dave Laithwaite, of Lancashire Fayre, and Coun Peter Wilson try some of the dishes on offer

A pilot meals-on-wheels scheme has proved to be so popular that it could be rolled out across the borough.

Chorley Council launched a trial scheme in the western parishes for six months to see if there was much demand.

It was aimed at older people who find it hard to cook for themselves or may not get the nutritious meals they need.

And it has been so successful that council chiefs are considering continuing the initiative and offering it to residents around the borough,

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy council leader, said: “One of the purposes of doing the meals-on-wheels was to ensure that elderly people on their own get the right nutrition.

“It’s not just getting good, hot food, it’s also about making sure people are not isolated in their own home.

“We are delighted with the 10-week review we have had of the trial. We think, given the positive response, it’s worth rolling out across the borough.”

A meals-on-wheels service was previously run by Lancashire County Council but stopped several years ago.

The new scheme is run by Chorley Council, with a set subsidy of £1 per person per day for three days a week. Customers pay £2.25 for a meal or £2.75 with a dessert.

It is proposed that the subsidy is reduced to 50p per meal when it is rolled out, with the total annual subsidy expected to be £25,000 to £30,000.

The funding was included in the council’s budget for 2014-15.

The meals will be provided by an outside company, with a contract offered for one year and the option to extend it annually.

During the pilot, 38 customers have used the service and a review after 10 weeks found that 100 per cent were very or fairly satisfied.

In total, 717 meals were delivered to customers aged 50 to 102, with the biggest proportion of clients being single women.

Most received meals on the three available days - Monday to Wednesday - while some had meals twice each week or just once as a “treat”.

The proposal to extend the service will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting of the council’s executive cabinet, which starts at 6pm at Chorley Town Hall.